With 15,000 students, families and others roaming the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend, the rules and regulations committee is ready for a safe and secure THON weekend.
Overall Rules and Regulations Chairman Mike Wellner said the 34 rules and regulations captains and the 1,300 committee members are the main forces of security this weekend at the Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.
With “every inch of the building covered,” the rules and regulations team will cover the BJC as they have broken it down into various zones, Wellner said.
A committee member will work in a zone for about an hour shift, and then move to other zones, Wellner said. They will work in these zones for four to six hour shift blocks and then go on four to six hour breaks, he said.
Wellner said emergency evacuation procedures are one of they keys to rules and regulations training, but training also encompasses any kind of specific situation that they may face. One such situation is when a pass-holder may not have the appropriate identification to be on the floor, Wellner said.
The committee members were trained in workshops held in early February, Wellner said.
Some of the problems he expects to encounter are issues when people don’t realize the rules, like entering the building or what people are allowed to bring in. Between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., the only entry into the building is through Gate B, Wellner said.
Also during that time, unsealed liquids are not allowed in the building. At all other times, unsealed liquids are permitted, as well as food that is not large like pizza boxes, Wellner said.
Penn State Police will also be present at the BJC, though they typically are not needed for any kind of major police intervention, Wellner said. Instead, they are there mostly to have extra security, including making sure the doors are locked when the BJC reaches capacity, Wellner said.
Penn State Police could not be reached for comment after repeated calls by press time Thursday.
“They’re there for anything we need that goes beyond our control,” Wellner said. “People typically understand that the doors will be locked when it’s at capacity.”
Part of rules and regulations also involves the PASS system, which is used during the weekend to regulate who has been approved to go on the floor with the dancers and families. Wellner said that his staff does not expect too many issues with people trying to get on the floor without a pass, but it may happen.
With hundreds of THON families enjoying the weekend put on by students, Wellner said these families typically do not request additional security.
“We don’t offer any additional security,” Wellner said. “The building is plenty secure with our presence and police presence.”
Bernie Punt, director of sales and marketing for the Bryce Jordan Center, said the BJC staff has been working hand-in-hand with THON overalls and most of the work and security is in the hands of the students this weekend.
“We’ve been meeting with these kids for a year,” Punt said. “It’s not like we’ve been with them for two weeks.”
Punt said that the BJC staff makes the THON overalls aware of the rules for the building, including the fire code.
The State College Police Department said that they will not be providing security for THON and they will not respond to the BJC unless contacted for assistance by Penn State Police.